Sunday, August 24, 2014

 Transfer Week!
This is the first counselor in the mission presidency, Russell Hakes.  As we met and visited we discovered we were distantly related.  As I mentioned in last week's post, we figured out the relationship:  3rd cousins once removed.  We both descend through David Evans.  So today we took a photo together.

 These are all of the outgoing missionaries.  As the time goes on we are getting more sad when missionaries leave because we have built a relationship with them and we love them and will miss them.  That really hit home with this transfer week.  These missionaries pictured above have been great!
Left to right, Sisters Jensen, Bradshaw and Earl.  All really, really good missionaries.  Sister Bradshaw served in our ward and we got to know her well.  They all have such bright futures ahead of them.

This is Elder Jenkins who served for 8 months as an AP working in the mission office.  We became very close to this young man and love him very much.  He is THE best.  I would proudly call him my son.  He is so diligent, pleasant, cheerful, helpful, etc.  Oh, how we will miss him.  But he lives in Las Vegas and promises to come and see us when we return home.
President and Sister Anderson had this sign made to take to the airport to welcome the new missionaries.  It caused great curiosity at the airport and the new missionaries really liked it too.  This is a fine group of missionaries and we are pleased to have them.  Elder Hillstead, on the right side holding the sign, is from St. George!  It was a very busy week for us--with transfers it always is.  They made 4 new trios and Elder Jones managed to have the 4 beds delivered BEFORE the day of transfers.  And the missionaries involved really did appreciate having a bed on night 1.  Thursday we received a new senior couple who will be CES missionaries:  Elder and Sister Wilson from Veyo, UT.  When they entered the mission office, Elder Wilson and Elder Jones recognized each other.  They played football at Dixie College together!  Elder Jones had known him as Evan Wilson and his paperwork for the mission named him Morris Wilson, so hence there was not the instant recognition.  Elder Jones and the Service Elders moved them in to their apartment.  Also this past week, Elder Jones and the service elders moved the Wrigleys, another new senior couple who will be working downtown Philly areas into their apartment.  As we hear the various health issues of these incoming senior couples we are quite grateful for our good health.
Saturday is our p-day and we were just relaxing when Elder Ellsworth (on the left) called and asked us to take him to Reading, PA for the baptism of Talea and Cezar.  Elder Ellsworth is from Washington Fields in St. George and just dared to call us.  He had been transferred on Tuesday into downtown Philadelphia Spanish speaking and has no car--they use the public transportation system.  So he had no way to get to this baptism, which is about 90 minutes away.  We were privileged to take him there and witness this mother and son be baptized.  Elder Park (on the right) and Elder Ellsworth both taught the lessons to Talea and Cezar and Talea wanted Elder Ellsworth to baptize her.  Talea's father is an inactive member the local Catholic church and donates highly to it.  He would be very displeased with Talea if he knew that she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  She had to sneak the missionaries into her home to teach her, but she knew right away that it was true.  She works for her dad and hopes that he will come to accept her decision to join this church.
The two missionaries on the left are the ones we took to Reading.  Elder Johnson and Elder Ellsworth.  Elder Johnson is from the Bay area in California and has Cystic Fibrosis.  He really does not talk about his health much, but he runs daily to help his lung function and wears a special vest morning and night to loosen mucous.  He told us that he is very grateful for modern medicine which has allowed him to serve a mission.  He has been on his mission only about 4 months.  After the baptism we drove them back to downtown Philly and in the process we missed a turn and ended up seeing parts of Philly we had never seen before.  We just love to be around these fine missionaries and to feel of their spirit.  We are so glad to be serving with them!

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